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U. administrators donations heavily favor Kim over Menendez, Murphy in upcoming primary

Cannon Green
Calvin Grover / The Daily Princetonian

Princeton employees have donated nearly $20,000 to help Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) in his bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who was federally indicted in September for accepting bribes, in this year’s contest for the Senate. Tammy Murphy, Kim’s main opponent, has no donations to her current campaign where Princeton is listed as the contributor’s employer.

Because the Federal Election Commission (FEC) requires disclosure of fundraising efforts for all federal elections, there is a wealth of information publicly available about the ways in which Princeton affiliates contribute financially to political campaigns, and disclosures have recently updated following the Jan. 31 filing deadline for 2023 campaign receipts.


The Daily Princetonian looked at these recent filings to see how Princeton employees may be impacting the Senate race ahead of New Jersey’s democratic primary scheduled for June 4, as well as to capture a broader picture of how high-profile University figures have contributed to political campaigns during their time in the Orange Bubble.

Contributions to Menendez, Kim, while Murphy is absent

Menendez has been charged with corruption and taking bribes in conjunction with his wife, Nadine, facilitated by Egyptian-American businessman, Wael Hana. Bonds of over $5,000 were found in Menendez’s residence, and, as of October 2023, he has pleaded not guilty. The Princeton Democratic Committee has called for Menendez to resign, as well as fellow NJ Senator Cory Booker

Menendez has only received one donation from a Princeton employee this election cycle — from Title IX Director Randy Hubert. This donation was reported in the first quarter of 2023, before the corruption scandal came to light. Menendez has received donations from professors in prior years.

Tammy Murphy — the wife of current N.J. Governor Phil Murphy — is also running for Senator. Murphy’s campaign has no current donations where Princeton is listed as the contributor’s employer.  The Murphy campaign garnered attention on Princeton’s campus in January after an associate called Nate Howard ’25 — the vice president of the College Democrats of New Jersey (CDNJ) — to pressure the organization against endorsing Kim.

The NJ College Democrats ended up endorsing Kim. The Princeton College Democrats have not publicized which candidate they endorse.   


According to polling by Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kim has 32 percent voter support compared to Murphy’s 20 percent. 

Kim has received 22 contributions in 2022 from Princeton employees, totaling $19,680. Contributors include one endowment manager, six professors, one administrator, one medical doctor, one editorial associate, one lecturer, and one currently retired professor.  They represent academic departments including SPIA, Psychology, History, the Writing Program, Neuroscience, Computer Science, and Astrophysical Sciences.  

Aly Kassam-Remtulla, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Operations and described as “the University’s senior international officer,” contributed $1,500.  

Andy Golden, who had served as President of the Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO) for nearly 30 years, and will retire this in June, contributed $6,600. According to recent tax returns, Golden is the University’s highest-paid employee, having made $6,000,000 in 2022, and has donated over $200,000 to political campaigns in the past two decades.

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Political Contributions from Top Administrators

Donations from top administrators have also been predominantly Democratic. However, prominent adminstrations at-large have not contributed to any organization or candidate since 2023.

President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 has donated the most of current University administrators, contributing between the years 2005-2012 to primarily Democratic candidates, including Obama for both of his presidential runs. He is followed by incoming Dean of the College Michael Gordin, who donated to Obama and Clinton in 2008 and 2016 respectively.  

From 2008 to 2021, current Dean of the College Jill Dolan has donated to Democratic candidates including Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and ActBlue.  She has contributed a similar amount as Dean Amaney Jamal of the School of Public and International Affairs. Jamal is also an Obama, Clinton, and Biden donor. Provost Jennifer Rexford donated once in 2020 to ActBlue, a Democratic nonprofit. 

Over the last 33 years, members of the University’s Board of Trustees have donated $7,858,125 to political causes in sum. Trustees have donated mostly to Democratic campaigns, with donations skyrocketing in 2016 and peaking in 2020 at a collective $1,366,689.24 donated to Democrats.  

The Trustee’s largest donor has been Blair Effron ’84, who has donated $2,942,046.91 since 1992.  Effron’s donations make up nearly 38 percent of all trustee donations and have been to entirely Democratic or non-partisan causes since 2005.  

After Effron, the greatest donors have been Bradford Smith ’81 and Peter Briger ’86. 

Annie Rupertus is a head News editor for the ‘Prince.’

Meghana Veldhuis is an assistant News editor for the ‘Prince.’

Head Data editor Suthi Navaratnam-Tomayko contributed reporting.

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